Thief of Hearts, by MaryJanice Davidson

>> Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Thief of Hearts is an earlier MaryJanice Davidson, published by Ellora's Cave in 2001. Would this be one of those "inferior" works she mentioned in her interview at AAR? If so, I beg to differ!

Never a dull night in the ER for Dr. Jared Dean, especially when he sees the woman of his fantasies beating the crap out of the largest man he has ever seen, only to have her escape before he even gets to ask her name.

Kara realizes the gorgeous doc is now in danger of retribution from the Godfather wannabe, so she immediately assigns herself the arduous task of guarding the hard body of Dr. Dean until she can figure a way out of the mess.

Jared is only too happy to accommodate the woman of his dreams, even if he doesn't take her seriously. Anything to have her close at hand... and in his bed
This was a very fast, sexy read, and what it lost in depth of characterization, it won in zippy fun pace. And still, for all that it was much shorter than books like A Royal Treatment, it had much more heart and emotion. A B.

This is the closest I've read to a story I've long wanted to read. I love role reversal stories, and I've really wanted to read one in which the hero was the regular guy who finds himself in danger and the heroine was the one who kicked ass doing it.

Go read Thief of Hearts if you don't believe it can be done without emasculating the hero and making the heroine a cold bitch. Jared was a sweetie, and the fact that Kara was better than he was at beating up bad guys, picking locks and stuff like that simply didn't make him any less strong and masculine. I adored his sense of humour and his goofiness and the way he fell for Kara like a ton of bricks because of the way she kicked ass!

Kara had some things I liked and others that I didn't. I liked how she was so perfectly able to take care of herself and did dangerous things without ever crossing into TSTL territory, and how she definitely grows throughout the book and works out some of her problems. What I didn't like was that MJD tried a bit too hard to make her sympathetic... she steals only from creepy, disgusting bad guys, gives all the money to charity and often engineers the capture of the baddies by the police. It really made her sound idiotic when she'd insist she'd done such baaaaad things, no respectable man could want her.

The scene where she decides to show Jared exactly who she is and what she does, fully expecting that he'll recoil in horror, was just dumb. Ok, she steals a valuable necklace from guys operating a kiddie porn ring, sets off the alarms so that the police will come and find some of the photos strewn around, then goes and donates the necklace to a home for retired prostitutes... and she expects Jared to be disgusted by her? Riiiight....

Ok, anyway, except from this, and from wanting to know a bit more about Kara and what pushed her to live the life she lived, I really enjoyed the book. Jared and Kara had great chemistry. I liked them together in and out of bed, and yep, especially out of bed. Some of the love scenes here are truly steamy, especially those narrated from Jared's POV, because he's just so into it. Kara too, but Jared's complete obsession with Kara was even better to read. The only love scene I didn't like was the very last one, which features something I'm not crazy about, but have enjoyed reading on occasion. Here, I'm afraid, the scene just didn't work. It was completely out of character, especially on Jared's part, and just icky, IMO. The other scenes more than make up for it, though.

Luckily, I think I've got a few other MJDs in my TBR, including other early works!


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